Energy Bill Faces Tough Hurdles As Prices Fall During Election Year

By Gary Truitt, Hoosier Ag Today.

The Senate GOP leadership calls the energy bill that the Energy Committee passed with a bipartisan 18-4 vote last July “a leading contender” for floor debate early this year. Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is eager to lead that debate, hoping for Senate passage by March. If the Senate passes the Murkowski/Cantwell Energy Policy Modernization Act, S. 2012, the next step will be a House/Senate conference to merge that bill with the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, H.R. 8, which the House passed Dec. 3 in a 249-174 vote.

But prospects for finalizing an energy bill this year face four major hurdles: